Novation XioSynth

Novation XioSynth Image


At first glance, you might think that Novation's XioSynth is just a scaled down X-Station. Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth, it's just as powerful, if not more.

Like the X-Station, the XioSynth (available in 25 or 49 keyboard sizes) features Novation's X-Pad (X/Y touchpad) and pitch/mod joystick controllers. The XioSynth retains all the features of the X-Station's synthesis engine (except external audio processing), but it has at least two new features that set it apart from its older sibling. First there's the filter overdrive that's said to give the XioSynth "grittier" overtones. Secondly, there is the X-Gator patch programmer which can gate each patch to create unique 16-32 step rhythmic patterns for every onboard sound, all synchronized to MIDI clock. X-Gator adds a unique flavor not heard on many other synths.

Novation XioSynth Image


The routing is fairly standard with the classic oscillator-filter-amp layout. It boasts PWM, two LFOs, and a noise source. The first LFO is for oscillator modulation and the second can be used for filter modulation. The three oscillators each feature classic analog waveforms plus some useful wavetables. Osc 1&2 can be sync'ed to each other. The filter is a 2- or 4-pole capable of highpass, lowpass, and bandpass. There are two envelopes: one for the amp and the other for the filter (referred to as the "mod envelope"). The XioSynth has six Effects, each with adjustable levels and settings. These include: Delay, Reverb, Chorus/Phaser, Distortion, a 3-Band EQ, and Stereo Panning.

Programing the powerful synth engine is a breeze with the matrix-style front panel which features 11 knobs and a rubber button to go with each. In "play mode" the buttons perform simple on/off functions but in "edit mode" each button brings up an edit menu where parameters can be tweaked from the corresponding knob.

Besides packing all this synthesis power in to a small frame, Novation also decided to throw in a USB audio interface. The audio quality may not be pristine, but it is very good considering XioSynth's price point. As well as being a powerful synth and USB audio interface, the XioSynth is also an awesome MIDI controller (every controller is assignable). It can store 16 templates, which are all user editable via the template editor. The editor can also act as an excellent patch librarian for the synth. There is also a third party PC editor available.

The XioSynth has pair of left and right stereo outputs plus a headphone output. There is also a duo of inputs: an XLR and a 1/4-inch TRS. MIDI and audio are transmitted over USB, so an audio interface is not needed to hear your shiny new XioSynth through your DAW. Sadly, there is MIDI Out but no MIDI In or Through. Power for the XioSynth can be provided by the included power supply, USB, or by six AA batteries.

All in all, the XioSynth is a great synth that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. If you are looking for that K-Station sound at a much more affordable price point, the XioSynth will do it

Lookup Novation XioSynth Prices

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Novation XioSynth? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

28 Visitor comments
October 3, 2012 @ 3:04 pm
This was my first sythesizer, and I LOVED the sounds it made, but it was so complicated for me to learn how to program in my young age. I later sold it to a friend and I kind of regret that.
April 29, 2012 @ 8:28 pm
I used to have the Xio 25. It just felt very cheap to me. The keys were on the stiff side, the joystick never re-centered correctly, the body was plastic. The sound was pretty good though, at least for me at the time. It got distorted and edgy pretty easily. The touchpad was fun as hell too. Probably it's most useful feature is that it could function as an audio interface, though I never had use for that. You'd be better off buying a nice controller and a good VST, honestly. I don't regret getting rid of it.
January 2, 2012 @ 1:35 pm
I've owned a xiosynth for a while and I was wondering if anyone here knows how to use it as a sequencer? I've got the MIDI out connected to an external hardware synth, but can't seem to start/stop it from the Xio.

I'm a bit new to MIDI routing so any advice would help about now, is it possible to use the MIDI clock from the xio to control other hardware via the Midi out port? Or do I need an exclusive sequencer?
December 18, 2011 @ 3:11 am
Great Synth but the knobs are not in real time and the latency is very tedius.
DJ AllWayz
November 12, 2011 @ 6:39 pm
No questions I own a Novation SL 1 61 Key (that I'd like to trade for a 25 key-even) but back to the topic I worked at GC for 4 years and sold some 25key Xiosynths, of the 4 that I sold 3 came back, and all for the exact same reason, two keys of the 25 played funny, like they felt loose, it was knowingly visible to the touch and after you knew what you were feeling for it was obvious an unknown many may have been produced defectivly, w/o Novation knowing. I remember I think it was the E key on both octaves. If not the E it def. was the same key. CHECK YOURS OUT! BEEN WRONG B4!
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User Rating

Rated 3.31 (248 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 10 voices
  • Multitimbral - Monotimbral
  • Oscillators - 3 analog modeled oscillators
  • Waveforms - Sine, Square, Triangle, Sawtooth, White Noise, HP Noise, BP Noise, HBP Noise, plus wavetables
  • LFO - 2 LFO's with 32 waveforms (Sine, Tri, Saw, Square, and many more patterns)
  • Filter - 1 12/24 dB Filter with LP, HP, and BP modes and ASDR envelope
  • Envelope - 1 ASDR Envelope
  • Effects - Delay, Reverb, Chorus, Distortion, 3-band EQ, Stereo Panning
  • Vocoder - None
  • Sequencer - X-Gator: 32 step on/off patch programmer
  • Arpeggiator - Latchable, Multi Octave, Up, Down, Up/Down, +32 patterns
  • Keyboard - 25 / 49 velocity sensitive semi-weighted keys
  • Memory - 200 User Patches. 16 MIDI controller templates
  • Control - MIDI Out, USB
  • Date Produced - 2007

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